By Katy Nesbitt, Senior Staff Writer
Wallowa Valley Online
ENTERPRISE, Ore – Wallowa County put a foreclosed 2,000-acre ranch up for auction Monday morning in the Wallowa County Courtroom. Not one bid was offered the minimum bid of $910,800 to get the auction going.
With no bids, Wallowa County Commissioners are considering their options how to proceed with the sale.
Only one person at the auction March 18 even qualified to bid – showing either a cashier’s check or a document proving the ability to post 20 percent of the $910,800 minimum bid set by the county commissioners – $182,160.
The Talbot Ranch was foreclosed in 2012 following the owners’ inability to pay property taxes dating back to 2006. In 2017 the county began proceedings to sell the ranch, but the sale was complicated with a cloud on the ranch’s title and a lawsuit filed against Wallowa County by the former owner Dave Talbot.
In August, Circuit Court Judge Tom Powers ruled in favor of the county and in January released an opinion awarding the county $97,444 to be paid by Talbot to cover the defendants’ attorney fees and prevailing party fees and costs “because the plaintiff knowingly recorded two invalid claims of encumbrance against the subject property.”